Police have issued an appeal for information following the discovery of several dead sheep, including in-lamb ewes, on a farm near Peebles in the Scottish Borders.
Police reported that the incident occurred on the evening of Thursday, March 10th, 2022.
According to a spokesperson for Scottish Borders Police, at approximately 8 pm, the farmer found two dogs on the farm.
They explained that the owner collected the dogs which had been missing.
The spokesperson said: “However, the following day, Friday, March 11th, eight sheep were found dead on the farm.”
“Another was severely injured that it had to be put down and one that was injured and treated by a vet. All had injuries consistent with being attacked by a dog,” the spokesperson added.
According to Sergeant David Rourke, enquires are ongoing to establish the full circumstances, and officers are following a “positive” line of enquiry.
However, police have appealed to anyone who may have information that could help further its investigation to get in touch.
If you can assist, then call police on 101, quoting incident number 0989 of Friday, March 11th, 2022.
Appeal to dog owners
The incident prompted Rourke to issue an appeal to all dog owners.
“The lambing season has started. Worrying can cause stress to sheep that can result in them losing their lambs as well as injuries that can lead to their death and all of this is a considerable cost to farmers.”
He then went on to remind farmers of their legal rights. “Dog owners could face prosecution under The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021 if their dog attacks livestock.”
“We are urging them to keep dogs on a lead when walking near livestock and make sure they do not run or escape into fields on their own.
“I am asking all dog owners to be considerate. Please remember that it is your dog and your responsibility to keep them under control.”
He confirmed that the legislation has recently changed to now include camelids such as llamas and alpacas, as well as ostriches, game birds and farmed deer.
Man fined after dog attacks field of 300 ewes
Meanwhile, a man has been convicted of allowing dog(s) to worry livestock, sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge, a collection order and ordered to pay compensation and fines amounting to £544.73.
The dog owner appeared before court following an investigation into an incident of sheep worrying, which took place in the Shipston on Stour area of South Warwickshire in August 2021.
The incident involved two large dogs that had escaped from their “insecure” garden into a nearby farmer’s field.
The court heard that the farmer was using the field to graze 300 ewes at the time.